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The SG08's bundled 600-watt power supply has shortened cables that are specifically designed for the case (image E), so that made our job a little easier. It also has just one Molex cable, and one SATA power cable with three connectors on it, so you can only connect up to four devices. The Titan was a bit of a tight fit, but it was OK, and we had enough space to tuck the power cables away. Still, it's difficult to picture an 11-inch video card fitting inside this case, let alone a 12-incher. While the motherboard power cables are braided, the 24-pin cable is still thick and therefore stiff. It and the 8-pin power cable ended up getting looped a couple of times within the spare real estate we had left. The GPU power cables were unavoidably snug against the top of the SG08 when the case cover went on, though; flat cables would be ideal.
If anything, the biggest wiring problem we faced was with the three SATA cables we used, since they were all standard length. If we had planned better, we would have ordered some shorter cables to help reduce the clutter.
Assembling this build in the order dictated by the layering of components was a challenge. The GPU definitely had to go in last, because the motherboard's riser card obstructs access from the other side of the case. So, once the GPU is in it blocks access to the rest of the motherboard. If we had forgotten to plug in a cable somewhere, we would have had to pull out the GPU to solve the mystery, so it was important to be methodical.
We had to get a little creative with the cabling to get everything to fit. For example, the SSD and its right-angle SATA connector ended up going in upside-down because we were running out of room to thread the cable around the power supply. We went over the PSU instead, as there were several millimeters of space between it and the optical drive tray above. The optical drive also uses very tiny screws (image F), about the size that you'd see on a pair of eyeglasses. The SG08 comes with them, thankfully, but they took a while to insert because the drive tray is recessed (though it uses precut holes for you to align the screwdriver with the screw holes).
With our mini-rig assembled, cooled, and ready to rumble, we were primed to see how hard we could push these components. After all, the SG08 sports a large grill on the side, offering our GPU the chance to pull in cool air, so the Titan has some room to breathe. The case's unusually large 18cm "penetrator" fan blows directly down on the core of the system at up to 1,200rpm, and the CPU has a big heatsink with a 12cm fan that can go up to about 2,200rpm, so we figured cooling wouldn’t be an issue. To our delight, the GPU handled a core overclock of 150MHz and a memory OC of 400MHz without complaints. The Titan did get up to 81 degrees C in our temperature-controlled Lab, which hovers around 20 C (or about 70 F), but Nvidia has told us the Titan is fine up to temps below 95 C. The Titan stayed fairly quiet and pushed almost all of its heat out of the system, too, which was excellent. So as far as the question of a Titan being able to survive in a SFF chassis goes, we’d say it works like a charm, and we can’t see it causing any issues at all in other small cases.
You’re probably surprised to see that this system’s 3DM11 score of 5,571 was within 5 percent of our zero-point system, which boasts a hexa-core i7-3930K overclocked to 4.2GHz and a GTX 690. However, the 690 was not overclocked, and keep in mind the zero-point's GPU scores were achieved with the drivers that were out when it was built in March 2012, so much of the surprisingly small gap is probably thanks to Nvidia's constant software optimizations made since then.
The CPU was a trickier affair. Once you get beyond about 4.4GHz, Ivy Bridge CPUs start heating up dramatically. Taking it to 4.6GHz or even 4.5GHz gave us temperatures we didn't think would be sustainable outside of our air-conditioned testing environment. The NT06's bundled fan is also not particularly quiet once it revs up to about 2,200rpm, and the case fan adds noticeable noise when switched to "high." Even though we thought this little rig might be able to sit in our living room and stay quiet while gaming, we’re left to conclude this particular setup would not be the best choice.
So, the overall system performance was excellent, the build quality of the case was great (though the bundled PSU could use shorter motherboard power cables), the motherboard handled our CPU overclock quite well, and we didn't have to do anything questionable or dangerous to fit everything into the SG08. Overall, we’d say the mission was accomplished. Now, to build a Titan SLI SFF rig.
|Premiere Pro CS6 (sec)||2,000||2,700 (-26%)|
|Stitch.Efx 2.0 (sec)||831||768|
|3DMark11 Extreme||5,847||5,571 (-4.8%)|
|x264 HD 5.0 (fps)||21.1||16.95 (-19.7%)
|ProShow Producer 5.0 (sec)||1,446||1,336|
|Batman: Arkam City (fps)||76||80|
Our current desktop test bed consists of a hexa-core 3.2GHz Core i7-3930K @ 3.8GHz, 8GB of Corsair DDR3/1600, on an Asus Sabertooth X79 motherboard. We are running a GeForce GTX 690, an OCZ Vertex 3 SSD, and 64-bit Windows 7 Professional.